The University of Texas hastily removed four Confederate monuments from its campus after its president said the statues represented "modern white supremacy" and "neo-Nazism." University of Texas president Greg Fenves said in a release Sunday night that statues of Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, John Reagan and James Stephen Hogg would be removed from the school's Main Mall before its students return to campus Wednesday. Fenves made the announcement as crews were in place to begin removing the statues, according to a university spokesperson. The decision to take down the statues came after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville turned deadly. read more
Mitt Romney on Friday urged President Donald Trump to take "remedial action in the extreme" following his response to violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia last weekend. Regardless of whether he intended it, Trump's words "caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn," the former Republican presidential nominee and Massachusetts governor wrote in a Facebook post. Romney called on the president to apologize for his remarks. read more
Controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick deserves a chance to continue his NFL career, his supporters said Saturday. Those backers include the NAACP and current and former members of the New York City Police Department, including famed corruption fighter Frank Serpico. Kaepernick has been struggling to find a new team since opting out of his contract after last season. His backers say NFL team owners have blackballed Kaepernick because he staged a one-man protest last season on behalf of African-Americans and other minorities -- by kneeling instead of standing for the national anthem before each week's game.
Once again, the ACLU is wrestling with how to respond to a far-right movement in the U.S. whose rising visibility is prompting concerns from elected officials and activists. In response to the deadly violence at a rally in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, the ACLU's three California affiliates released a statement Wednesday declaring that "white supremacist violence is not free speech." The national organization said Thursday that it would not represent white supremacist groups that want to demonstrate with guns. That stance is a new interpretation of the ACLU's official position that reasonable gun regulation does not violate the 2nd Amendment.
The wife of the Treasury secretary on Monday night took a page from President Trump's social media playbook for punching down. Louise Linton, the labels-loving wife of Steven Mnuchin, replied condescendingly to an Instagram poster about her lifestyle and belittled the woman, Jenni Miller, a mother of three from Portland, Ore., for having less money than she does. The brouhaha began when Linton posted a photograph of herself disembarking a military jet emblazoned with official government markings. She had joined her husband on a quick trip to Kentucky with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. "Great #daytrip to #Kentucky!" Linton, 36, wrote under the photograph. She then added hashtags for various pieces of her expensive wardrobe, listing #rolandmouret, #hermesscarf, #tomford and #valentino. Ms. Miller, 45, wrote under the photograph, "Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable." read more
President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon has been fired, multiple White House officials told CNN on Friday. Sources told CNN that Bannon's ouster had been in the works for two weeks and a source said that while Bannon was given the option to resign, he was ultimately forced out. ... The President has privately stewed over Bannon in recent days, including Thursday night from his golf course in New Jersey. He was furious with his chief strategist after he was quoted in an interview with the American Prospect contradicting Trump on North Korea and asserting that Bannon was able to make personnel changes at the State Department.
Samuel Sinyangwe, Vox: This July, I traveled to Barbados to unwind and get away. I didn't know I'd encounter a monument that would help me understand how America processes our history. Heading into town from the airport, we circled a statue situated in one of the most prominent intersections in town. It depicts a black man, Bussa, breaking the chains that bound his hands in slavery. In 1816, Bussa, an enslaved African, organized enslaved black people across every major plantation to stage a nationwide revolt in what is now known as Bussa's Rebellion. His actions were instrumental in bringing about the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies. As someone who grew up in Florida, I had never seen anything like it. For me, a racial justice activist, it communicated viscerally what no study or analysis ever could. It helped me imagine a landscape of liberation. read more
Mark Bray, historian of human rights at Dartmouth University: There are antifa groups around the world, but antifa is not itself an interconnected organization, any more than an ideology like socialism or a tactic like the picket line is a specific group. Antifa are autonomous anti-racist groups that monitor and track the activities of local neo-Nazis. They expose them to their neighbors and employers, they conduct public education campaigns, they support migrants and refugees and they pressure venues to cancel white power events. read more
What's a Fox & Friends host to do when they desperately want to push President Donald Trump's narrative the "both sides" are to blame for Charlottesville, but their guests want to talk about what's really going on in America right now? Abby Huntsman found out Wednesday morning, in a segment first spotted by Mediaite, when she tried to start a debate over the statues of Confederate-era slaveholders but found her guests unexpectedly agreeing with each other about how "morally bankrupt" our president has become on the issue of race. read more
Unlike some former presidents, Barack Obama is showing no signs of completely abandoning public life. Since leaving office, Obama has commented on major events or controversies, including the terrorist attack in Manchester, England, and Sen. John McCain's brain cancer diagnosis. He did so again on Saturday, after the deadly violence in Charlottesville. "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion ... People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love ... For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite," Obama said, quoting former South African president Nelson Mandela in tweets. read more